By NMCB 7 Detail Wolverine
Seabees assigned to NMCB 7’s Detail Wolverine perform emergency snow removal from berthing facilities located at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wolverine, Zabul province, Afghanistan, after a severe snow storm hit the area.
Photo by Lt. Sean Hughes
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7’s largest project to date – new berthing facilities and a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) for the U.S. Army 1-14th Cavalry – at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wolverine in southern Zabul province, could have been slowed by a massive winter storm which dropped more than two feet of snow in a 24-hour period, a rare event in this part of Afghanistan. However, “Can Do” plowed right through. To date, Detail Wolverine Seabees have completed 11 projects, from new airfield ammunition boxes to communication fiber installation, in addition to the berthing facilities and TOC.
Several hours into the storm, the overbearing weight of snow began to weaken the interior frames of the berthing tents. NMCB 7 ‘Bees assisted the FOB Wolverine maintenance contractor with critical snow removal from roofs and reinforcement of interior wooden tent frames.
The accumulation of snow forced FOB Entry Control Points (ECPs) to close and halted daily airfield operations as well. Once again, the ‘Bees were back in action, clearing more than 22,000 cubic yards of snow from the airfield and ECPs, while continuing their daily operations and routine maintenance.
Detail Wolverine has continued the local partnership mission with the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) by providing maintenance and repair subject matter expertise to soldiers in the ANA 4th Kandak, 2 Brigade, 205th Corps. Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Lucas Arriaga and Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Dhane Givler work closely with their ANA counterparts, providing basic maintenance skills, general expertise and oversight during routine vehicle repair.
“This is a great opportunity for Seabees to assist our Afghan counterparts in the upkeep of their tactical vehicles,” said CM3 Arriaga. “The most challenging aspect of our partnership is working through the language barriers.”
Wrapping up the maintenance cycle, Detail Officer in Charge (OIC) Lt. Sean Hughes also plays a key role by working with the local ANA maintenance officer, troubleshooting the ANA’s logistics system and assisting with building the framework for an effective, sustainable maintenance program.
“Over the past month we’ve worked diligently to develop friendships with our counterparts,” said Lt. Hughes. “Gaining the trust of the ANA will allow our professional relationships to be based on mutual respect and understanding. Major strides in increasing the ANA’s ability to operate independently of Coalition Forces have been made by our predecessor, NMCB 1, and we look forward to the difference we can make over the coming months.”